April 21, 2013
ALLENDALE, Mich. - In a stark contrast from Saturday's games, the Lakers played on a sun-splashed Laker Baseball Field on Sunday (Apr. 21) and it seemed to have a positive impact on the Grand Valley State bats. The Lakers pounded out 13 hits and got another stellar performance from senior Anthony Campanella to complete a weekend sweep of Lake Erie with an 8-1 victory.
The win, the fifth in a row for GVSU, puts the Lakers at 22-12 on the year with a 16-5 record in the GLIAC. Lake Erie falls to 11-25 overall with an 8-15 mark in the conference. Today's win, paired with Wayne State's loss to Ohio Dominican, now puts the Lakers at the top of the conference standings.
Saturday's nightcap of the doubleheader seemed to be a game full of Laker fans holding their breath waiting for the offense to break through. In Sunday's nine-inning contest, GVSU fans were able to exhale pretty early, as GVSU made its presence known early.
Although they did not push a run across in the first, the Lakers got two hits in the first inning, perhaps foreshadowing what was to come later on.
In the bottom of the second, it took one swing of the bat to put GVSU on top, as junior Giancarlo Brugnoni homered to lead off the frame, his seventh longball of the season.
Brugnoni was back at it again in the bottom of the fourth in his next at-bat, as he homered again, this time to the other side of the scoreboard and of the two-run variety, to bring in sophomore Jamie Potts, who had singled to lead off the inning. It is Brugnoni's sixth multi-home run game of his career and his second this season (vs Charleson, 3/9).
Already leading 3-0, the Lakers got two more runs on the board in the bottom of the fifth, as senior Stephen Claypool doubled to the gap in right-center and senior Chris Rudenga walked, then Potts doubled down the right field line to score one. Brugnoni, next up, was being intentionally walked when a lob to the plate went over the catcher's head and allowed Rudenga to score, making it a 5-0 game.
The Lakers capped off the scoring with three more in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore Jesse Abel was just a couple feet from a home run, banging a double off the left field fence to start, then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. An RBI single by sophomore Mike Nadratowski in to center field made it a 6-0 game. Later in the inning, a balk by the Lake Erie pitcher brought another run home and Rudenga's RBI single up the middle made it 8-0.
The Storm were able to scratch across one run in the top of the eighth on a triple and an error, but were not a threat in the final innings as the Lakers closed the 8-1 victory.
Campanella (5-3) had yet another gem on the mound, working eight innings, allowing only five hits and no earned runs, while matching a season-high with seven strikeouts. It is the sixth time in eight starts this season that Campanella has allowed either zero or one earned run. Junior Chris Ripple, usually an outfielder for the Lakers, actually made his first appearance on the mound for GVSU, throwing a scoreless ninth inning of relief.
The offense was led by Brugnoni, who finished the day 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBI, all off the pair of home runs that Brugnoni, the GLIAC leader in home runs with eight, hit on the day. Potts and sophomore Kevin Zak both had two hits and scored once with a double, while Claypool finished 2-for-4 with two runs and a walk to go along with a double of his own.
The Lakers will now have a week-long break for finals at Grand Valley State. The Lakers will next play on Saturday (Apr. 27) in a doubleheader against Ashland slated to begin at 1 p.m. at the Laker Baseball Field in the final weekend of home games for the 2013 season. Those games will be televised on Xfinity 900 all across the state of Michigan. The games will be "Back to the Future" games, as the Lakers will be wearing brand new Adidas Climalite jerseys for the contests.
The 2003 GVSU baseball team, which was the first squad in school history to advance to the Division II College World Series, will be honored between games.